The Senate, on Tuesday, warned President Bola Tinubu against illegal spending and advised him to seek a supplementary budget for its Compressed Natural Gas initiative.
The Senate through its Committee on Gas, led by Senator Jarigbe Jarigbe, urged the executive arm of government to expeditiously present a 2023 Supplementary Budget to the National Assembly to kick start the Compressed Natural Gas project.
This request came barely 48 hours after President Bola Tinubu announced measures to cushion the pains of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians.
The lawmakers insisted that the law was against extra-budgetary spending.
The committee’s chairman who commended Tinubu for the CNG initiative, however, warned that it would be illegal to spend taxpayers’ money or the money without approval by the National Assembly, and other projects in the gas value chain.
The senators also advised against extra-budgetary expenditure through Ways and Means,’ saying the legislature was ready to support and bring succour to the people.
Jarigbe commended Tinubu on his CNG revolution to power vehicles.
He said, “The noble initiative would ameliorate the hardship of the citizens. Also, the President needs to come up with a supplementary budget to enable the government to fund the gas value chain, including the provision for CNG infrastructure and CNG vehicles.”
He also stated that the workshops and training for CNG adoption would need to be funded.
“The President should not embark on extra-budgetary expenditure because it would be inconsistent with the provisions of the law.”
Jarigbe stated that the National Assembly, under the leadership of the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, was poised to support the lofty programmes of Tinubu.
He said a 2023 supplementary budget would be most appropriate, instead of the ‘Ways and Means’ approach of the previous administration, which had remained a major issue of contention in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In his Independence speech, the President explained that he would ensure that the hardship of Nigerians was alleviated.
Tinubu had said, “A Nigeria where hunger, poverty and hardship are pushed into the shadows of an ever fading past.
“We have opened a new chapter in public transportation through the deployment of cheaper, safer CNG buses across the nation. These buses will operate at a fraction of current fuel prices, positively affecting transport fares.
“New CNG conversion kits will start coming in very soon as all hands are on deck to fast track the usually lengthy procurement process.”
He said his administration was also setting up training facilities and workshops across the nation to train and provide new opportunities for transport operators and entrepreneurs.
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.